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Re: re: menus and AUI


flm_mail wrote:
Ok. Thanks.
I don't want to "publish" my idea as the best, and I know MS standards are not (always or generally) the best. But for users familiar to standard menus, kicad seems to be difficult to use and there is (for most commands) only one GUI way to exec commands. This is a good thing for advanced users (they will probably use shortcuts or command lines, e.g. Blender), but a little difficult for novices.

When I wrote that other UI software I talked about, our philosophy was that by having a single way of doing things, this made the user's search space smaller, and would actually re-inforce remembering where something is *and lead to quicker familiarization*. Any software is awkward for a first time user, and documentation (online, offline, tooltips, or context sensitive help) is important in overcoming the first time user's adaptation.

Our other consideration was screen real estate. We did not want to waste screen real estate duplicating more than one way of doing things, just because Microsoft does. There are "frequent users" and "occasional users", and each can benefit from different things. Who is to be appealed to? Also the shear *quantity* of command and operations will eventually dictate a certain evolution as the need to organize things comes into play. Again, this is the user's *search space*. Currently it is pretty small, so KISS has been sufficient.

Remembering back when I first started using Kicad, quick access to the documentation was the most difficult. The package could benefit from better use of tooltips, and true context sensitive *searchable* help. BTW, it seems the wxWidgets tooltip support does not work as well as it should, so we are fighting that even if we don't know it. Also, the wxWidgets support of context sensitive, searchable help may be limiting us.

Any proposal you offer would be received with an open mind. Because the UI is something that we all encounter and use, I was thinking some discussion on it is a good first path.

But we really don't have much to discuss until you offer a proposal in sufficient detail.


I found a lot of users that posted comments like "kicad is difficult to use" or "how to exec this command" (e.g. autorouter), and this was the reason I posted my first question. Conclusion: my special effort will be about snap-to- pin facilities. However, i've already compiled some interface changes... I think pane toolbars could be a good idea...
Advices well appreciated.